\ ˈbōth How to pronounce both (audio) \

Definition of both

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: the one as well as the other both of us

Definition of both (Entry 2 of 3)

used as a function word to indicate and stress the inclusion of each of two or more things specified by coordinated words, phrases, or clauses prized both for its beauty and for its utilityhe … who loveth well both man and bird and beast— S. T. Coleridge



Definition of both (Entry 3 of 3)

: being the two : affecting or involving the one and the other both feet both his eyes both these armies

Examples of both in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Conjunction

Case in point: Right after King Arthur cuts off one, then both, of the Black Knight’s arms, a woman walks in with a basket and scoops them up. Joanne Engelhardt, The Mercury News, "‘Spamalot’ is an infectious crowd-pleaser at Palo Alto Players," 3 May 2017 Get her to the Early Bird, a charming little breakfast spot with locations in both Westminster and DTC that is super casual and super good. Allyson Reedy, The Know, "We’ve made your Denver Mother’s Day plans based on the kind of mom you have," 23 Apr. 2017 After a bullpen session, Pini suggested Gavin turn his two solid breaking balls (a curveball and a slider) into one really strong pitch, a slurve (combo of both), that became a bit more like a slider. Mirin Fader, Orange County Register, "Cal State Fullerton pitcher John Gavin won’t settle for anything less than great," 4 Apr. 2017 What are your biggest concerns and priorities at this time — both in terms of the regulatory as well as industry development? Alicia Wallace, The Cannabist, "Exclusive: Here’s how Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper really feels about marijuana," 31 Mar. 2017 It was built in 1922 at 107 E. Chestnut St. Both the city of Stillwater and Washington County, which had first and second dibs, declined to purchase the building. Mary Divine, Twin Cities, "New armory in Stillwater will highlight history," 27 Feb. 2017 Neither squad has lost an in-state game yet, as both the Grizzlies (9-1) and the Patriots (10-1) each went 3-1 in their respective brackets in the prestigious Tarkanian Classic from Dec. 16-20 in Las Vegas. Kyle Newman, The Denver Post, "5A’s top squads face off as ThunderRidge travels to George Washington," 3 Jan. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

No woman in the Open era has ever defeated a player who is both the No. 1 seed and defending champion in her debut at a major tournament in 67 attempts. Jenna West, SI.com, "Naomi Osaka vs. Coco Gauff Live Stream: Watch Online, TV Channel, Start Time," 31 Aug. 2019 But the agreement was steadily undercut as both the government and former fighters failed to make good on their promises to each other. New York Times, "Colombia’s Former FARC Guerrilla Leader Calls for Return to War," 29 Aug. 2019 There is a feeling that Keenum’s experience — both the good and the bad — is a positive. Kareem Copeland, The Denver Post, "Former Broncos QB Case Keenum wins Redskins starting quarterback battle," 25 Aug. 2019 Caillier decided to gut the main floor and expanded both the bathroom and kitchen and the basement was also completely unfinished, which meant more work but also a lot more freedom. Hadley Mendelsohn, House Beautiful, "This Warm Seattle Home Is a Master Class In Family-Friendly Decorating," 23 Aug. 2019 Like many Google design transitions, there is code for both the old and new UI on your device, and Google gets to pick which one shows up with a server-side switch. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "Google Play Store’s blindingly white redesign starts rolling out," 19 Aug. 2019 Lebedev was also involved in several disputes with both the British administration and one of his former employees and was asked to leave India in 1797. Karen Stapley, Quartz India, "Over 200 years ago, a Russian musician became a pioneer of Bengali theatre," 15 Aug. 2019 State Cross-Country Championships, as both the men’s and women’s teams finished fifth. Vincent Nguyen, Glendale News-Press, "Looking Back: Conference titles highlight 2018-2019 campaign for Glendale Community College," 9 Aug. 2019 According to the official Jehovah's Witness website, both the old and new testaments command people to abstain from blood. Serena O'sullivan, azcentral, "Here are 6 things to know about the 40K Jehovah's Witnesses coming to Phoenix," 9 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'both.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of both

Pronoun, plural in construction

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above


13th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for both

Pronoun, plural in construction, Conjunction, and Adjective

Middle English bothe, probably from Old Norse bāthir; akin to Old High German beide both

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Time Traveler for both

The first known use of both was before the 12th century

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English Language Learners Definition of both

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: each one of two things or people

English Language Learners Definition of both (Entry 2 of 3)

used before two words or phrases connected with and to stress that each is included



English Language Learners Definition of both (Entry 3 of 3)

used to indicate that two things or people are being referred to rather than just one


\ ˈbōth How to pronounce both (audio) \

Kids Definition of both

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: each one of two things or people : the two both of us

Kids Definition of both (Entry 2 of 3)

used before two words or phrases connected with and to stress that each is included both New York and London



Kids Definition of both (Entry 3 of 3)

: the two Both books are mine.

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More from Merriam-Webster on both

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with both

Spanish Central: Translation of both

Nglish: Translation of both for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of both for Arabic Speakers

Comments on both

What made you want to look up both? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


authorized for issue (as a bond)

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